Stan Lee Weighs In On Zendaya’s ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Casting
The thinly veiled, racist discourse surrounding the recent casting rumor that Disney Channel star Zendaya will play Mary Jane Watson in the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming film has been exhausting. But hopefully Stan Lee’s — aka the character’s original creator — seal of approval will silence bigoted naysayers for good.
"If she is as good an actress as I hear she is, I think it’ll be absolutely wonderful," he said of the criticism via the Toronto Sun, before citing the 2003 movie Daredevil, where black actor Michael Clarke Duncan played the Kingpin, a character originally conceived as white.
"In the Daredevil movie, the Kingpin – who had been white in the comics – he was a black man playing the role, and he played it beautifully,” Lee continued. "The color of their skin doesn’t matter, their religion doesn’t matter. All that matters is that this is the right person for the role.”
Shortly after Zendaya’s possible role reveal began circulating online, loser nerdbros everywhere typed furiously from the confines of their sad, dank caves to unleash a maelstrom of unimportant opinions on the news. Zendaya is not a natural redhead! they cried, their Dorito cheese-tinged fingers flying across their keyboards. What they really meant was, Zendaya is not white! as though Mary Jane’s race has ever been of critical importance to her character development.
Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn lent his support to Zendaya on Twitter and Facebook after the news broke, eviscerating those who criticized the casting by calling out the underlying racism inherent in most people’s upset.
"For me, if a character's primary attribute - the thing that makes them iconic - is the color of their skin, or their hair color, frankly, that character is shallow and sucks," Gunn wrote. "For me, what makes MJ MJ is her alpha female playfulness, and if the actress captures that, then she'll work."
The Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott also applauded Zendaya's rumored casting on Twitter, driving home the point that Mary Jane's race is irrelevant to her character.
While Zendaya has yet to comment on the (ridiculous) controversy, she did post the following tweet, which sums it all up more succinctly than we ever could:
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